Tuesday, October 20, 2009

2 Years on Blogger so I had to Return!

Happy Birthday BT's Blog

It was all a trick you see! Not really, but I realised that it's 2 years today since my first entry on my blog, so I couldn't let that pass now, could I?? I am feeling more positive and last night I didn't dream about my friend Phil who died on the 11th, so that's a start. I also had 12 hours sleep last night. Another positive. So, can I creep back?

Give Away

I think I must celebrate my blog's birthday with a give away. What would you like? How about one of my raggy bags? You can see an example in my side bar. All you need to do is leave a comment and say what it is you like about my blog - or what you don't like about it. I can then launch into year 3 with some sound advice. I will leave the competition open for 2 weeks to give everyone a chance.

Below is my very first blogging entry, it talks about our rockery, which has now gone!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

bt-thecraftygardener
































Rugby World Cup Final tonight, England v S Africa. Sadly I think S Africa will almost certainly trounce England. Last night watched the match for the bronze medals, Argentina v France. Lots of bad tempers and loads of testosterone abounded! France were seriously thrashed by Argentina. France have had a BAD world cup!

I'm sitting at my computer in Ireland, looking out on dozens of chaffinches, green finches, our resident coal tit and great tit, feeding from the bird table. 2 containers full of nuts and one of bird seed. They frequently visit the bird bath nearby. The bird bath was my Mother's, bought for her and my father by my brother, so it goes where I go.

I smile as I see the rockery we have built, still colourful with dancing heads of yellow marigolds, pink geraniums, purple violas (recently planted), and sundry other pinks and white. A little wren is now hopping around the rockery.

The rockery was once a high bank, covered in brambles, montbretia, wild rose, nettles and sundry other weeds. It took all of last summer to demolish the bank, making a way through to the land beyond. Trees had to be felled too, and the roots raked out, sawed through and removed as much as possible.

In all we have 5 acres. Beyond the rockery used to be a very rough small field, full of nettles, brambles and sedge reeds, as this is Ireland and it's pretty boggy. Now it is a mowable lawn, laughably called the arboretum as it contains quite a few trees, some planted by the previous owner, others by us. (6 yesterday).

Forgive my ignorance at 'blogging', this is my first attempt so will be pretty mixed up. I'll add some 'history' as I go along.

Weather in County Clare today: Cloudy but quite bright.

Back to Today

So there you have it. A lot has changed since then. I have lots of bloggy friends, awards and a new layout. I am a member of an 'Artist Trading Card' group and have my own ATC blog too. I am at least a stone heavier.

Building work

The electricians finally turned up, so we have good lighting in the kitchen at last and lights and sockets in the extension plus sockets for my washing machine and to be bought tumble dryer in the old bathroom, now just a toilet and wash basin. I shall call it, rather grandiosely, 'The Laundry'.

Best of all, we have our wood chip boiler installed and connected up to all the radiators and hot water tank. Phew. It's hot in here. The strangest thing about it is that it makes a repetitive noise rather like a fog horn! We have yet to fine tune the settings and something needs to be fitted by the plumber to separate the hot water from the radiators. I took some photos:

The Beast! We keep the 'chips' in our old log basket. You can see the white section behind the flame. The chips come down an Archimedes screw and pop out of the hole into a little basket, where they are lit. You can't believe that such a tiny basket of fuel can heat the whole house.

Here comes the wood chip.......

It was rather like watching my new automatic washing machine when I first received one. Jim and I sat and peered at the hole to watch the chips drop out!

The pipes behind the boiler will be boxed in. Job number 50 for Jim.

We have a lovely brass fan light in our sun room, courtesy of our 2 electricians:

How many Irishmen does it take to assemble a fan light? Damien (left) and Mark (right), puzzle over the instructions. The awful messy wall you can see behind them is the result of Stanley, our old boiler, yet to be removed. It used to be all hidden behind a curtain.

On Friday 16th, it was reasonably warm outside, especially in the sunshine. As I hadn't been sleeping too well, I fell asleep on a sun bed outside. Jim pounced.....

What a lovely hole in the bottom of my slipper!!

How mean was he?

An Award

Ces let me know that she has given me an award, and a very special one too, so I had to come back, didn't I?

It's the Ces-Arija Award and I love it. The artwork is by Ces. She is so talented, do go and visit her blog if you haven't already:

http://cesandherdishes.blogspot.com/

Ces's explanation as to the meaning of this wonderful award is as follows:

'I did not think I will ever find another woman like my mother until I met Arija. They went through wars, natural and man-made disasters yet arose from the ashes and remnants with great dignity and honor. They share a progressive view anchored in timeless wisdom, both of great intellect and compassion.
.
I am blessed to call Arija my sisterfriend and it is my great honor to design this award to recognize her: A thinking, seeing, feeling, loving person who celebrates life every day. She is an artist, a photographer, a fascinating woman with great sense of humor, wise and thoughtful blogger and a loving and caring friend.
.
Bella Sinclair had this to say about Arija: "I was reading just a little bit about oaks yesterday. Such a strong wood that it is prized for its strength and density. It refused to be felled for centuries (until the invention of iron tools). That, truly, is Arija, she who offers support and shade, who twinkles in the sunshine and sways with the breeze, and who refuses to be felled."
.
I am delighted to share this award with my favorite bloggers:'

And I was blessed to be one of them. Thank you so much Ces.

Love to all.

BT
x

19 comments:

Mildred said...

I am so happy that you are feeling better and sleeping more soundly. Congrats on your 2nd blog anniversary. How fun to look back at your first post! I always enjoy seeing your corner of the world thru your photos; your lovely gardens, the beautiful vistas, your grandchildren, and of course your pets! Makes me feel like I've come for tea and had a nice visit. Take care and continue to feel better. Nice to have you back.

BT said...

Hello Mildred, what a lovely comment, thank you so much.

Mim said...

What do I like about your blog???

Easy ....You!

marianne said...

Congratuations BT!!
Wow 2 years already.
Glad you have heat for the winter. This heater is intriguing have to ask my husband if he knows what it is? i have never heard of it. I just wonder what happens if you don put any wood in at night or when away for a while? then everything turns cold or you have a backup system?
haha those pictures of you sleeping on your stomach!


Have a nice day BT!

BT said...

Mim, you are too kind.

Hello Marianne. Well, if you go 'green' as it were, not everything is simple. If we go away, you can set the heater to low but would probably have to get someone to come in and fill it up once or twice. It easily lasts all night if you want it on, or you can set it to come on in the morning, which is what we do. It holds quite a lot of pellets in the top.

This might help Marianne

'# The wood pellets themselves are made from compressed sawdust, a by product of wood processing which was considered waste until recent years. This dried sawdust has very low moisture content and is compressed into pellets before being packaged for sale. Generally no glue or binding is required other than the sap from the timber itself.
# This easy to transport clean fuel is very cost efficient with current prices of €4 - €5 per bag will give you 10 hours of burning*. (*subject to market fluctuation)
# This renewable source of energy does not contribute to climate change. The carbon dioxide that is released when the pellets are burned is equal to the amount the tree consumed when it was growing. Wood pellets are manufactured with wood from managed and sustainable forests.
# Pellets are a high energy, smoke free fuel. They are easy to source, store and load with no mess and creates very little ash.
# The initial cost and ongoing running costs of pellet stoves are less than oil and gas while still providing a similar heat output.
# The automatic fuel supply and a thermostat mean that you can relax and enjoy the comfort of pellet heating at the switch of a button. Automatic ignition means that lighting the fire is hassle free.' So we chose this system because it is a renewable source using waste products.

Jason said...

Hello, nice to see you again. x

Great looking fire. I like your blog as I get to see what your upto, I particularaly like the blogs that feature me and mine as I'm rather selfish.

See you soon. x

Leatherdykeuk said...

Happy blog birthday

Heather said...

Welcome back Gina and a very happy Blogday to you! I can't remember when I discovered your blog - it was probably when you left a friendly comment on mine when I first started. I really enjoy the wonderful photos you post, of your garden, the beautiful countryside around you and the places you visit. It has also been very interesting following the progress of the various builders and other tradesmen during the alterations to your home. As for all the work you do in the garden and the energy you expend, I can't believe you are a stone heavier! It must all be muscle. Keep up the good work whether it be ATCs, gardening or weavings, etc. You are always worth a visit and I would love to be included in your giveaway draw.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Congrats on your second year of blogging. I hope you have many more years of sharing your life of ups and downs.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Happy Birthday dear blog. Loved reading it - as I love reading all your posts Gina - you have such a sense of fun - we live your adventures in the garden, in the home, in Spain and really share them with you. (Who else do I know who would put a nude back view of themselves blogging on their blog?) So press on into a new year - glad you are feeling more positive. We all have these set backs - but I know you are going into your next year firing on all cylinders. Best wishes for the best blog year ever.

Bea said...

A good night's sleep is worth a pound of gold. More or less. Congrats on two years of blogging.
I'm so happy that I found your blog and have learned so much about your part of the world. :)Bea

priti.lisa said...

Hi BT...
I am relatively new to your blog, but I have read a lot of the archives. What I like best about your blog is you and your sense of humor. YOUR HAIR!! and my new favorite is your pellet burner...I'm intrigued by it. I wonder if this oil hungrey country even sells them. I am looking into it.
I love the way you are always working on your house and yard. Me too.
I love the pictures of all the green.
xox, Lisa

PS: The last thing I noticed was the hole in your slipper...I never saw anyone sit in a lounge chair quite that way, LOL

soulbrush said...

happy no2. i have been so blue myself, i haven't been around much. sorry to hear of your troubles.what do i like about your blog? the 'fullness' of it. it is like reading a book, like seeing your life before my very eyes in pictures and words. no other blog is like this, we all just stick in an excerpt here or there, yours is YOU, it is your life, warts and all, and i really like that. so keep doing what you do and lotsa hugs from me.xxx

Olga/Maddie said...

Happy second anniversary to your blog. *big smile*

I love your blog because it's 'quintessentially you'. *big big smile*

I'm happy to hear that you are feeling better. And my thoughts and heart are with you. *GG*

Lastly, I'm very sorry to hear about passing of your friend, Phil.

My heart, thoughts, and deepest sympahties, are with his family, you, and the rest of his friends.

God bless and taek care. Bye, :)!
Olga/Maddie

BT said...

Jason, you are too funny!!

Thank you Rachel.

Heather, what lovely comments, thank you so much and I will of course include you in the draw. I like 'Happy Blogday'

Thank you Lisa.

Weaver, such super comments too, thank you so much. I shall try and carry on much the same then. xxx

Ah, thank you Bea. I love your blog too, but you know that! I'm so glad you found mine.

priti.lisa, thank you so much for your visit. I like new readers too! I'm glad you found my blog and love your comments. I think our hair is a bit similar! Good luck in the draw.

Oh soul, such super, thoughtful comments from you, what else would I expect? I'm so sorry you've been blue too. I have emailed you.

Hi Olga, I must pop to your blog. Thanks for your comments and for your thoughts re Phil.
xx

Nikki said...

Welcome back :) I missed you!

Lynn said...

Wonderful to be at your second year of blogging anniversary party. I arrived there myself a bit earlier this year as well. Feels great!
Not sure I should be allowed in on your wonderful give away, as it seems this is my first visit here. Even though we are friends on the ABC ATC SWAP Blog and have been trading ATCs for a while now.

I LOVE your Raggy Bags and if I could win one I'd be in art heaven.
So my fingers are crossed that my promise to be a regular visitor for year number three will allow me in on the chance to win!

DK Leather said...

Huzzah! Welcome back mum :-)

Personally I *love* your blog, for the photos and the tales you tell... in other words so I can see what you're up to.

However, I especially like reading about you, your childhood and memories from your life, not just the daily doings. If this blog was to be wholly a reflection of you, not just your life now, I think it should have a regular week or monthly 'slot' for such past reminiscing posts!

There, I'm just glad you're back!
:-) love you momma xxx

Renee said...

Gina congratulations on two years. It is fun isn't it.

What I like best about your blog is you. But I also like the flowers, actually, I love the flowers.

Love Renee xoxo